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What is morality?

The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed

   --  Ayn Rand

What place has morality in a justice system?

Some people attempt to legislate morality, because they believe that if something is immoral, it obviously out to be illegal. Morality is subjective. Rights are much clearer. That is why the legal system is built on rights and not morality.

But isn't there a place for morality in the justice system?

Yes, but it can't be in determining what is a crime. Morality is subjective, and it changes. The statue books could not keep up with something that might be illegal today, legal tomorrow and illegal the day after. Also it would reduce law to a function of the majority, the morality of the majority outweigh the morality of the minority. Although the minority may in fact be right.

There is a place for morality, and that is when it comes to the remedy for the crime.
Not all crimes are equal.
  • Stealing off a millionaire has different consequences than stealing off an old age pensioner.
  • Stealing to feed your family has different motives than stealing to gamble.
You would expect different punishments for different moralities. But you would always expect a punishment for he crime.

Immorality is bad, there must be something we can do?

"to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts"

   --  Jean-Jacques Rousseau

You can get rid of an immoral act, but the immorality still remains.

Lets take one example:
A father smokes, but because he smokes, and he won't live as long as he could. This is immoral as he has a duty to be there for his children.

A law is passed to stop this immorality, and a cop assigned to enforce this edict. The father still wishes a cigarette, but he just isn't smoking. 

Here are the effects:
  • His morality hasn't changed.
  • The cop is paid for by people who are not committing a crime, and it is immoral to punish people who have done nothing wrong
  • Its not practical
  • Its invasive
  • The father resents the state
  • The fathers liberty rights have been violated
  • Any punishment for the father for violating the edict, will probably harm the children in some way.
  • But yes he may, potentially live longer for not smoking. But he may not.

Moral autonomy

The Amish and ultra orthodox jews believe that religion dictates social, economic and political principles, but they are generally more concerned with their own observation of these principles than a comprehensive regeneration of society.

This has contributed to the idea that liberalism is 'neutral' in relation to the moral cultural and other choices citizens make. Moral autonomy.

Altruism and morality

“An action is only moral if one has no desire to perform it. Meaning if one has no desire to be evil, they cannot be good”

   --  Ayn Rand

Quote 1226

If service and self sacrifice are a moral ideal, and if the "selfishness" of human nature prevents men from leaping into self sacrificial furnaces, there is no reason why a dictator should not push them in at the point of bayonets for their own good, or the good of humanity, or the good of the bureaucrats latest 5 year plan. There is no reason that they can name or oppose any atrocity. The value of a mans life, His right to exist, His right to pursue his own happiness? these are concepts that belong to individualism and capitalism - the the antithesis of the altruist morality.

   --  Ayn Rand

Ron Paul on Morality

Ron Paul on Morality

Governments are inconsistent in their application of regulation